PDA

View Full Version : AutoHotKey script for listing auctions, kosher?



Thoom
04-19-2015, 12:08 PM
Given the current somewhat cumbersome state of the auction house, I was wondering if it would be allowed to use an AutoHotKey script to automate the bulk listing of certain items (mainly packs).

Edit: Removed script.

From the "My Listings" page, this script automatically lists 10 of the second item in my inventory stash (set 1 packs) for a minimum bid of 156 plat and a buyout of 157 plat.

I don't think this in violation of the spirit of the rules, but better safe than sorry.

zadies
04-19-2015, 12:17 PM
Scripting period is not kosher... so... yeah...

The interface is actually designed to prevent most tools that can automatically create scripts from operating... so I probably wouldn't have written out a full script before you actually asked the question, now you've just created a huge nightmare.

wolzarg
04-19-2015, 12:19 PM
All automation is definitely against the rules officially so i don't know. Seems very handy i will give you that.

Kroan
04-19-2015, 12:20 PM
From my experience it is not possible to use any macro-tools to script things, like posting stuff to the AH.

Though I haven't tried it a lot, I must confess. Especially not lately.

Zophie
04-19-2015, 12:33 PM
Does tab actually work to go between the two price fields now? If not then you'll need to add a line to click into the next field instead of that {tab}.

That being said, I try to stay within WoW's rules for macro'ing commands. If you click once you can send a burst of commands but you can't use any delays or anything that looks like automation or botting. It would probably be better if you set this up as a chain of commands that you need to click once to process each line, and then sit there and click click click click for everything you need to do.

Gwaer
04-19-2015, 12:36 PM
I'm curious about an official word on this, too.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 12:36 PM
Scripting period is not kosher... so... yeah...

That's not clear to me. The TOS states:


An “unauthorized third party program” as used herein shall be defined as any third party software that conducts activities prohibited in the HEX: Shards of Fate End User Software License

I'm not sure I would consider "making AH listings" a prohibited activity.

XagoTrunk
04-19-2015, 01:11 PM
I don't see why it's a problem unless the bot is pulling information from the AH and using that to it's advantage. AKA sniping an item that is priced too cheap before anyone else. If the ahk script is just clicking on the screen and putting in numbers based on set timings, it's really not giving an advantage over anyone else doing it by hand.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 01:20 PM
Other than a lower risk of RSI, at any rate. I'm guessing that's probably not part of the designed "opportunity cost" of the auction house, though I'm sure there are people on this forum who would disagree.

Zophie
04-19-2015, 01:23 PM
If the ahk script is just clicking on the screen and putting in numbers based on set timings, it's really not giving an advantage over anyone else doing it by hand.

Technically this is incorrect, as it would allow him to start a large batch of listings going while he steps away from his keyboard and does something else, while anyone else would normally have to sit there and do it manually one after another.

I have no problem with someone using mouse macros, but I think it's a fine line you're crossing when you start automating something to the extent that you don't have to be there the whole time it's running.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 01:40 PM
Technically this is incorrect, as it would allow him to start a large batch of listings going while he steps away from his keyboard and does something else, while anyone else would normally have to sit there and do it manually one after another.

I have no problem with someone using mouse macros, but I think it's a fine line you're crossing when you start automating something to the extent that you don't have to be there the whole time it's running.

In the case of the AH, I don't think AFK listing is a big deal because it's not a good idea to list too many of one thing. But if the distinction between a fully automated solution and one where I have to mash Enter is meaningful to CZE, I'd certainly be satisfied if the latter was allowed.

fido_one
04-19-2015, 01:43 PM
Just stepping in real quick to applaud Thoom in how he brought this up; very curious to see where this thread goes!

zadies
04-19-2015, 02:07 PM
My guess is a lot of accounts being banned that copied that script before it was removed.

When they released the api they stated that passive reading of data was OK, entering data bad... thus the statement about scripting.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 02:13 PM
I hope nobody was dumb enough to use the script before hearing from Hex whether it was OK or not.

Also, given that it depends on being at 1920x1080 resolution and lists from a specific slot that's not necessarily the thing other people might want to list, I don't think it's terribly likely.

zadies
04-19-2015, 02:19 PM
Given you just gave them the resolution and told them what to edit if they have half a brain you did just make it that much easier...

Thoom
04-19-2015, 02:27 PM
The script was trivial to write. Anyone capable of modifying it could have written it in 10 minutes.

zadies
04-19-2015, 02:36 PM
Also why I said half a brain it's much easier to go oh that is how something works then it is to go and make it from scratch.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 02:37 PM
I preemptively apologize to any halfwits who happen to get banned because of this thread.

MaximumSquid
04-19-2015, 03:10 PM
HEX can be coded to disable AHK and other macro programs while it is running in the foreground

It's not as common as say disabling the use of speedhacks in a game, but it's not uncommon either

Obviously the bigger issue is if the UI for the AH is ever going to be improved or not

Whether the Dev team knocks this down or not you should be congratulated for trying to improve gameplay and even having the courage to come in here and share it

---

That said I have been perma-banned from a non-competative coop game before for listing what was essentially a work-around for a clunky gameplay mechanic; the work-around did not use any software and thus would not even be up for debate whether it was breaking the ToS or not

/GoodTimes

zadies
04-19-2015, 03:13 PM
Pretty sure he'd be banned already if they were going to ban him for posting it... tho it would have been smarter to post the question without the script.... Using it is a completely different matter.

I am certain that they are just working out how to word a response to this though wither it will be this is fine because our interface sucks or stick to the hard and fast any non-manual input is forbidden is up for debate... though it's a slippery slope if they say that this is fine.

Gwaer
04-19-2015, 03:21 PM
I've never encountered a game or program that disabled AHK when you run it. And I'd have a pretty major beef with anything that did. I use a number of ahk scripts for accessibility reasons on my computer. If they were disabled by launching another program I'd flip my shit.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 03:22 PM
Yeah, I'm all for monitoring but when a program starts messing with other programs on your computer without your consent, that's way over the line.

zadies
04-19-2015, 03:25 PM
I think your missing the thrust of his comment... he said it could disable it when it was in the foreground and had priority... in reality it doesn't need to disable it just ignore any input it generates which is essentially the same thing.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 03:27 PM
I'm 99% sure that's not actually feasible for Hex, given that it's built in Unity.

zadies
04-19-2015, 03:35 PM
With the hooks being built into unity it is actually easier to tell that the input is being script generated then user input.

MaximumSquid
04-19-2015, 03:38 PM
It's actually not that heavy handed. . .

While I'm running forward in Doom I can alt tab back into Quake and my guy has not fallen off a cliff

If Unity did not support some kind of input layering or priority it would cause all sorts of compatibility issues

hacky
04-19-2015, 04:04 PM
One would think that with all the desire to be able to list cards more efficiently, that an autohotkey script to do so would be welcomed rather than reviled.

For the record, I think such a script described by the OP should be okay to use. That is, if it emulates human keyboard/mouse operation, and as such, it interacts with the Hex client in ways that a human user would.


EDIT: On second thought, without seeing the script myself, maybe I shouldn't say one particular part. I'll retract that and update my post to better reflect my intention.

Banquetto
04-19-2015, 04:49 PM
One would think that with all the desire to be able to list cards more efficiently, that an autohotkey script to do so would be welcomed rather than reviled.

There is also an opposing school of thought that making the AH interface easier for listing cards would be a bad thing, because it would increase supply and thus reduce prices and effectively devalue collections.

No comment on whether I think that school of thought is valid and reasonable or pants-on-head insane.

Gwaer
04-19-2015, 04:55 PM
It should be an even playing field in either case.

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:15 PM
The issue at hand isn't really is one script a good thing or a bad thing but that allowing any scripting at all makes it harder to enforce an anti boting stance because you already allowed some bots, and yes 1 key press to post things on the ah is a bot a very very simple bot but a bot never the less.

hacky
04-19-2015, 05:19 PM
You need to make your terminology clear when discussing a topic like this.

A "bot" does something automatically, without human interaction.

A "script" or "hotkey" does a pre-scripted or pre-programmed set of instructions, in response to a human input.

A script is not a bot, though a bot may run a script.

I'm saying that: In my opinion, a script should be okay, provided it can only do what a human could also do. That is, for example, clicking positions on screen, and providing keyboard input.

For example, a "bot" that posts booster packs while I am away, that should not be allowed. But, if I recorded the clicks and keypresses required to post a booster pack on the AH, and then pressed a button to replay those clicks and keypresses, and that results in booster pack being posted on the AH, is that suddenly not allowed?

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:23 PM
Hacky I could cut and past that script 100 times press 1 key and walk away from the keyboard... really there isn't a difference.



If I press a 1 key and the computer does more then a single thing in response to that key press because I programmed the computer with a script because it is doing more then 1 thing it is a bot it is just not an intelligent bot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_bot
An Internet bot, also known as web robot, WWW robot or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.

The fact that you don't want to think of something that makes your life easier as a bot is fine that doesn't mean it isn't because it is doing it faster then a lot of people possibly could.

Also hacky if your saying you have been using scripts to post things to the ah I am arguing that it was never allowed and you should be baned for doing so.

hacky
04-19-2015, 05:24 PM
yes 1 key press to post things on the ah is a bot a very very simple bot but a bot never the less.

If I used a autohotkey script to cause my P key to press F10 to pass my turn, is that also a "bot"?

hacky
04-19-2015, 05:31 PM
Hacky I could cut and past that script 100 times press 1 key and walk away from the keyboard... really there isn't a difference.

The problem is, this example isn't a "bot". I could sit at my computer and do the exact same thing, and post 100 booster packs. And obviously, it is not against any rules for me to sit at my computer and post 100 booster packs.

Therefore, doesn't that mean that if I recorded the actions needed to post 100 booster packs, and had my computer, via script, execute those exact actions, that would be okay? This is what I am arguing as "should be permissible". But again, this is my opinion, and Hex has every right to state otherwise.

-----

On topic, if you can point out where "scripting clicks and keypresses" is disallowed, that would be useful for this discussion. Because the parts of the Hex Terms of Service that would be relevant don't cover this as "not allowed"...

2. Damaging Conduct.

(b) modifying, reverse engineering, disassembling or decompiling the HEX Game in whole or in part;
script does not modify, reverse engineer, disassemble, or decompile

(e) interfering with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the HEX Game (including cheating) and any of HEX Entertainment’s websites;
script does not interact with any other players

(g) using third party software designed to modify the HEX Game and/or the HEX Game experience in any means.
script does not modify the hex game or client

3. Unauthorized Third Party Software.

You are strictly prohibited from use of unauthorized third party software that intercepts, “mines”, or otherwise collects information
script does not intercept, mine, or collect information

including without limitation any software that reads areas of RAM used by the Game Client to store information about a character, game environment, or other aspects of the HEX Game;
script does not read memory or store information

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:32 PM
1) Given the functionality to do what you just said is actually in the client that would be pretty stupid to do
2) That is using a single input to create a single output, the scripts being discussed here are using a single input to create multiple outputs.

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:34 PM
(e) interfering with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the HEX Game (including cheating) and any of HEX Entertainment’s websites;
script does not interact with any other players


Sorry hacky but posting to the ah is interacting with other players so yes it is prohibited.



(g) using third party software designed to modify the HEX Game and/or the HEX Game experience in any means.
script does not modify the hex game or client

The script bypasses the intended functionality of the ah the fact that you don't like how the ah currently works does not mean it is not intended for you to manually use it.

hacky
04-19-2015, 05:40 PM
Sorry hacky but posting to the ah is interacting with other players so yes it is prohibitive.

And yet, what you're saying here, is that anyone posting on the AH, even as a fully human user, is interacting with others and should be prohibited...

Your use of wikipedia to try to define what a "bot" is, tells me that no amount of arguing with you will amount to anything.

Hopefully what I posted will be useful for others continuing with this discussion. I would like to see an answer to whether scripting clicks and keyboard presses is fine in the eyes of Hex.

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:49 PM
No hacky due to that being the intended use of the ah to manually entering data, your deciding to nit pick like that would say that just using the forums and game chat would also be banable... if you want to take things out of context that's fine because it just means you can't actually defend your stance.

I'm saying that using a script even if you used a macro-creation tool to record your steps(most of which are impossible to use which should tell you something about how they feel about scripts) goes from a human interacting with a human to a computer interacting with a human and the transition between those two is cheating.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 05:51 PM
No hacky due to that being the intended use of the ah to manually entering data.

I don't believe either you or I are qualified to determine intent in this case, which is why I addressed this thread to the developers.

zadies
04-19-2015, 05:56 PM
True and I'm sure that there will be a response eventually as opposed to just getting the thread closed, but I wasn't going to not respond to hacky saying it wasn't their intent either.

zadies
04-19-2015, 08:29 PM
Also while this script might seem innocent enough, you could use the same tools to write a script for the ah that filled in the card name section, the max price section, hit the buy out button, hit the search button then proceeded to buy out 10 cards at that price with a single button press. Or a script that could just set the ah to gold set a max price set buy out only and buy out cards a page at a time with one button press
Saying that it isn't a bot because it isn't complied and wouldn't be making intelligent selections does not mean it isn't doing exactly the same things.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 08:51 PM
I'm not convinced that's such a terrible thing, though it's not the sort of thing I'd be interested in. As long as the script is just saving clicks and not making decisions, I'm in favor.

zadies
04-19-2015, 09:37 PM
Thanks for clarifying the actual goal of trying to get an "innocent" script approved.

Lets add high-frequency trading the ah even before all the qol improvements... Yeah... I'm absolutely positive there is a segment of the population that will love that... also don't think it is good at all for the average player

Thoom
04-19-2015, 09:38 PM
You seem really emotionally invested in the AH being a pain to use and not allowing workarounds.

zadies
04-19-2015, 09:39 PM
Not really... I just saw where the "innocent" script was going before the conversation got to this point... and I don't think that it is good for the average player to have to compete with this sort of thing.

Also really didn't matter if it was your intention to write those scripts or not or if they had even occurred to you... the fact is they can't allow one simple ease of use script and then ban the kind of script I outlined it would seem arbitrary.

Thoom
04-19-2015, 09:42 PM
And now we're on to conspiracy theories. I think I'm done here until someone from Hex replies.

Edit: Let me be fully transparent about my motivation: I want to unload about 250 set 1 packs without ruining my wrist. That's it.

Skirovik
04-19-2015, 09:46 PM
As long as such a thing (provided it's OK'ed by the Hex team) is widely available, I see no real issue. That said, I can see both sides of the argument here and would be understanding of either side Hex Ent falls on in regards to this.

zadies
04-19-2015, 09:58 PM
If you really think that the people that would write the best scripts for ah manipulation would go around and give them away for free you really do live in a world of rainbows and butterflies.

Fyren
04-19-2015, 10:04 PM
If you really think that the people that would write the best scripts for ah manipulation would go around and give them away for free you really do live in a world of rainbows and butterflies.

What community do you think you're in?

They gave away free laborsaving programs in WoW. If you've played WoW you've almost certainly heard of programs like Auctioneer; Blizzard seems to have no issues with programs that massively increase ease of use of their auction houses.

Add to this that this is a community that is so damn friendly I weep when I compare it to the LoL, WoW or Hearthstone communities, a community that just gave out a pile of free drafts to newer players, and the only explanation I can have for the stance that some people might conceal the script for their own gain - something refuted by the original version of the opening post of this thread, when the OP gave out the script - is that someone is living in world of tinfoil hats and reptiloid presidents.

EDIT: Yes, I am aware of the irony of proclaiming the community as friendly while ranting. I've decided to leave the post as is. :p

zadies
04-19-2015, 10:15 PM
Fyren... there are people who are currently auction sniping without the use of bots or scripts and don't care to explain how they are doing it... if they can automate it do you really think they would just give it away.

There are people in the community that are great... there are people who don't talk that play the game that aren't so great... and then there are people like me who are just jackasses.

The point being this will basically give a group of people the option to print money and you will either use the scripts or you will be over paying on the ah.

And that is a best case scenario where the scripts are actually 100% freely available.

High frequency trading is not good for the stock market and is definitely not good for the average joe on this ah.

GhundiPI
04-19-2015, 11:26 PM
Fyren... there are people who are currently auction sniping without the use of bots or scripts and don't care to explain how they are doing it... if they can automate it do you really think they would just give it away.
Having spend some time on the top end of the <12 hour list trying to figure out the dynamic, I would love to know how they are doing it. I found it impossible to be able to compete for the interesting items...



High frequency trading is not good for the stock market and is definitely not good for the average joe on this ah.
Back to the topic of automation. So true about High Frequency Trading. I can recommend everyone to read up on the topic of HFT to find out how automation is a gold mine for the few, but a detriment for anybody else. Anyone believing that the current stock markets in almost any country is still a good place for the average person, is sorely mistaken.

Not that such kind of extreme automation will be able to be implemented in hex (hopefully!), but it isn't hard to see how even a small part of that will impact the economy for everyone not using the same methods.



They gave away free laborsaving programs in WoW. If you've played WoW you've almost certainly heard of programs like Auctioneer; Blizzard seems to have no issues with programs that massively increase ease of use of their auction houses.
As someone who has been there and seen the evolution of the auction house in WoW from the start, I can say with certainty that while a larger quantity of items has become available, it has also caused the average price to go up and not down. And of course Blizzard is very lenient towards any AH automation as it actually helps them to remove a large chunk of gold from the economy through the AH fee. Do note that my experience with WoW stopped after WotLK, so it is entirely possible that the dynamic of the AH has changed.


All in all I am against any form of external automation for the simple fact that it will only benefit a small portion of the player base, or force everyone to use it. And it will become another barrier that a new player will have to overcome/learn to deal with when starting in Hex. It is up to the developers to provide the tools necessary to make it easier for the players.

Zophie
04-20-2015, 02:04 AM
Keep in mind the auction house addons in WoW still require you to click your mouse for every listing. You can use it to do tedious tasks more efficiently but you still have to actively be there to work them. I think having macros and such should be allowed, but you shouldn't be able to stick timers on them to run scripts while you AFK, you should still have to sit there and click Sell for each listing like everyone else.

zadies
04-20-2015, 08:56 AM
Zophie currently the ah in wow requires that originally it didn't, and with a little alteration it still doesn't and blizz doesn't care because it's not out to the public and much harder to police due to them allowing the rest of it in the first place.

Once you get to the point of allowing macros at all you enter into a very nice nebulous grey area, how do you know the macro isn't hitting the sell button, how do you know a human is actually the one triggering the macro.

Monitoring for macros and known botting programs is easy... once you allow scripts and macros it is VERY easy to code a custom program that sends a single button press out when your afk.

It is much harder to monitor for a custom program like that.

It is much harder once you allow scripts to say well that script does too much... how do you know the script hit the sell button and the user did... you cut and paste that posting macro 100 times but each time change the wait time on hitting the sell button easy as pie.

It's very easy to go but oh that one is a convince feature but this this this this aren't... but it is much harder to enforce that.

Zophie
04-20-2015, 09:36 AM
Zophie currently the ah in wow requires that originally it didn't, and with a little alteration it still doesn't and blizz doesn't care

As someone who has a non-trivial amount of experience with the WoW AH, the related addons, and Blizz's policies regarding how they function, I disagree with this statement.

zadies
04-20-2015, 09:42 AM
Ah but not the first part of it interesting... and yes if you alter the auctioneer addon directly they notice and care... but anyway some people don't know how to think outside of boxes and you didn't disagree with any of my other statements... now apply them to wow.

DocX
04-20-2015, 10:24 AM
Keep in mind the auction house addons in WoW still require you to click your mouse for every listing. You can use it to do tedious tasks more efficiently but you still have to actively be there to work them. I think having macros and such should be allowed, but you shouldn't be able to stick timers on them to run scripts while you AFK, you should still have to sit there and click Sell for each listing like everyone else.

It's been a few months since I've used the WoW AH, but ISTR I could use addons to list multiple auctions at once as long as they're the same parameters for those auctions.

And, even if I have to press a button for each and every auction, the addons will allow me to auto-fill parameters based on current auction data and historical databases, like I can in WoW. Loads and loads better than the current state of the AH in Hex. Being able to say "For every X I want to list, it should be in CURRENCY have a minimum bid of MIN and buy out price of BUYOUT" for multiple values of X would be glorious, even if I have to click a button for each individual auction. AHK would simply allow that rote filling out of information to be handled for common items.

If your concern is where the slippery slope leads, feel free to continue down that logical fallacy trail. There is not an effective method to prevent this from happening on a client end. If you care to, check out the story of Thomas Peterffy's NASDAQ robot trader from 1987. I can do exactly the same thing and comply by the letter of the law by making a "keyboard" out of a LEGO Mindstorm box and do EXACTLY the same thing AHK is doing. I press a button, the LEGO robot moves the mouse, types on the keyboard and accomplishes exactly the same goal.

The solution is HexEnt improves the AH interface, allows multiple listings as a part of the UI and removes friction from the system. When that happens, workarounds like AHK or my hypothetical LEGO robot will not be necessary (or even desirable). For now, your intransigence seems extreme, especially given nobody from HexEnt has weighed in yet. I believe there is a reasonable middle ground between "ABSOLUTELY NO AUTOMATION EVER" and "OMG THE IN GAME ECONOMY HAS COLLAPSED BECAUSE OF ALL THE BOTS". I also believe finding this reasonable middle ground will require some input from HexEnt so they can help define what they're comfortable with.

There absolutely will be automation. Whether that automation is the grey area of getting around the clunky UI that Thoom is talking about (and, which I personally believe is a reasonable thing to do) or the automatic reading of auction house data to find deals, snapping them up and relisting them at higher prices (which I believe is way overstepping the bounds of what should be done in Hex, even if, with the addition of some manual clicks, is something that can currently be done in WoW) is yet to be decided. Someone will always have better tools for working the market than the average person. Believing otherwise (or advocating that not be the case) is an untenable position in the long term. Recognizing that reality and attempting to guide it toward a reasonably fair position is the only logical position one can take, in my opinion.

zadies
04-20-2015, 11:02 AM
If someone wants to build an actual robot to automate the ah more power to them, prior to that there should be no automation in the ah that is not directly built into the client.

Zophie
04-20-2015, 11:23 AM
I should point out, again, that I'm not against macros and completely agree the AH needs better support to cut out all the tediousness. I love AH tools and addons and I want to see more. I am strictly commenting on the timed delays in the AHK script in the OP that allow this script to continue functioning while he is AFK. I used WoW as an example because they have specific rules against this behavior. If you can go do something else while your scripts or whatever continue to interact with the game then you've crossed into botting territory.

DocX
04-21-2015, 05:58 AM
If someone wants to build an actual robot to automate the ah more power to them, prior to that there should be no automation in the ah that is not directly built into the client.

Ahh, so if I have a robot typing on a keyboard, that's fine. What about a self-actuating keyboard that presses its own keys? I have a MIDI-keyboard that I can send messages to so it'll press its own keys that will then get read by the operating system. Is that ok to use? And is there a difference if the keyboard physically moves its keys vs simply activating them without physical movement? Where is that bright line of demarcation between "Fine" and "Not Fine"?

And, honestly, it's not really going to matter what your answer is. It's not going to matter what my answer is or anyone else on this forum that doesn't have an Orange title. It's going to matter what Chark's answer is (and the folks working with him to insure the integrity of the economy). As someone who lives by automating computer processes, I will advocate for making listing and purchasing of items easier. As someone who's seen the economic effects of flash trading in real world markets and their detrimental effect on increasing the gap between haves and have-nots, I also advocate for care and thoughtfulness in moving forward with any automation.

I would also hope that, as early as convenient and appropriate, HexEnt will provide guidance regarding their forward looking view of where they'd like to eventually end up as well as what they deem kosher and what they deem exploitative. As a self-proclaimed good actor (who reported myself for multiple accounts after it was clarified that was not kosher), I'd like to make sure I'm on the correct side of whatever line they draw. But saying "Any computer automation is BAD" draws arbitrary distinctions without a difference, ignores reality and dismisses very legitimate use cases for such automation (something not discussed yet in this context, but which are completely relevant to the larger topic are folks with mobility impairments using automation to compensate for the issues they encounter when using the traditional interface).


I should point out, again, that I'm not against macros and completely agree the AH needs better support to cut out all the tediousness. I love AH tools and addons and I want to see more. I am strictly commenting on the timed delays in the AHK script in the OP that allow this script to continue functioning while he is AFK.

Ahh, gotcha. I had not seen the original script, so I did not know there were delays built in for that. If there are delays to accommodate client lag, I would completely understand that, but if it's something intended to be set and forget so you could walk away, I agree that's not kosher IMO.

zadies
04-21-2015, 09:56 AM
Ahh, so if I have a robot typing on a keyboard, that's fine. What about a self-actuating keyboard that presses its own keys? I have a MIDI-keyboard that I can send messages to so it'll press its own keys that will then get read by the operating system. Is that ok to use? And is there a difference if the keyboard physically moves its keys vs simply activating them without physical movement? Where is that bright line of demarcation between "Fine" and "Not Fine"?

A keyboard that moves it's own keys is running a programmed script. If there is no actual physical interaction between something that is acting exactly like a user and the input devices that an actual user would have to use then it is not fine.(also unless you require all users to use webcams a device like this makes actual enforcement of not using one untenable.)

My line against enforcement of an actual user interacting with the actual in game interface is all on the enforcibility side of it... if there was a 100% guaranteed method that did not require a user to have additional hardware of preventing robots from entering the commands I'd be against them too.

Thoom
04-21-2015, 10:34 AM
Ahh, gotcha. I had not seen the original script, so I did not know there were delays built in for that. If there are delays to accommodate client lag, I would completely understand that, but if it's something intended to be set and forget so you could walk away, I agree that's not kosher IMO.

There were delays to accommodate client lag, and the whole thing was wrapped in a "Loop 10" construct to repeat 10 times. One could walk away, but not for very long, as the whole script would last less than a minute.

Zophie
04-21-2015, 03:14 PM
There were delays to accommodate client lag, and the whole thing was wrapped in a "Loop 10" construct to repeat 10 times. One could walk away, but not for very long, as the whole script would last less than a minute.

That's kind of my point though, your script isn't just a macro firing off a single burst of mouseclicks/keystrokes, it has delays in it to fire off multiple series of inputs that would require anyone else to fire off manually over a period of time. Not to mention the loop to have this repeat for 10 times is just your example, but it could just as easily be 100 or 1000 or whatever you desire, and that's where the problem is. I feel that you need to be there actively sending input if you want to interact with the game client. If you're clicking once and a script is still executing commands and interacting with the game client for more than a second after that click, that's where I think your script needs to stop. Just remove the delays and remove the loops, and make your script into a series of macros that you have to fire off in bursts with a single mouse click (or whatever hotkey you bind it to) each time you would normally need a delay, and I think that would be fine. As long as you do that I would even say go ahead and enhance the script to do other things like draw the numbers and cards names from a spreadsheet to search for and sell in bulk.

hacky
04-21-2015, 03:37 PM
That's kind of my point though, your script isn't just a macro firing off a single burst of mouseclicks/keystrokes, it has delays in it to fire off multiple series of inputs that would require anyone else to fire off manually over a period of time. Not to mention the loop to have this repeat for 10 times is just your example, but it could just as easily be 100 or 1000 or whatever you desire, and that's where the problem is. I feel that you need to be there actively sending input if you want to interact with the game client. If you're clicking once and a script is still executing commands and interacting with the game client for more than a second after that click, that's where I think your script needs to stop. Just remove the delays and remove the loops, and make your script into a series of macros that you have to fire off in bursts with a single mouse click (or whatever hotkey you bind it to) each time you would normally need a delay, and I think that would be fine. As long as you do that I would even say go ahead and enhance the script to do other things like draw the numbers and cards names from a spreadsheet to search for and sell in bulk.

This doesn't work. The entire reason for the delay is to account for the client's delay between windows.

Regardless, I believe you're missing the point of this discussion about automation. The scope of this discussion is taking a series of actions that are possible to do by a human, and creating a script that does the same thing as that human, at the same speed as that human, and asking whether that's okay.

As a funny aside, i'm imagining someone taking the original script, and accidentally listing all their primal packs for 157p because they didn't know how it worked. (it works off screen position of your item in the stash, it can't find it itself)

-----

Another interesting question...

Is it okay for me to have my little brother, or anyone else, sit at my computer and list all my booster packs on the AH for me?

If the above is okay, why is it suddenly not okay to have a script do the same thing?

Zophie
04-21-2015, 03:45 PM
This doesn't work. The entire reason for the delay is to account for the client's delay between windows.

Exactly, it shouldn't work automatically, I think you're missing my point completely. When the next window is coming up you should have to interact with it again to fire off the next burst of commands. There should be no automation with delays. I am suggesting he remove the delays and require human input to handle them instead, so there is no temptation to turn his little script into what could essentially be viewed as a botting mechanism. If he wants his script to be kosher I think the delays need to go and regular human input is needed instead.

Thoom
04-21-2015, 03:47 PM
That's kind of my point though, your script isn't just a macro firing off a single burst of mouseclicks/keystrokes, it has delays in it to fire off multiple series of inputs that would require anyone else to fire off manually over a period of time. Not to mention the loop to have this repeat for 10 times is just your example, but it could just as easily be 100 or 1000 or whatever you desire, and that's where the problem is.

I don't feel like that's a problem, because listing 100 or 1000 of an item is a bad idea, but for my purposes a script without the loop that required 10 button presses would be just as useful, so let's pretend the loop isn't there.


I feel that you need to be there actively sending input if you want to interact with the game client.

The input I am actively sending is "I want to sell X of this item at Y price." In an ideal world, that should be about 5 clicks and a little bit of typing. All the script does is bridge the gap between this ideal world and reality.


Just remove the delays and remove the loops, and make your script into a series of macros that you have to fire off in bursts with a single mouse click (or whatever hotkey you bind it to) each time you would normally need a delay, and I think that would be fine
This would be so cumbersome as to nearly completely defeat the purpose.


As long as you do that I would even say go ahead and enhance the script to do other things like draw the numbers and cards names from a spreadsheet to search for and sell in bulk.

And this is the sort of stuff that I think folks might actually a reasonable issue with. In my mind, the point at which automation becomes unacceptable is the point at which it starts making decisions instead of a human.

Zophie
04-21-2015, 03:58 PM
The input I am actively sending is "I want to sell X of this item at Y price." In an ideal world, that should be about 5 clicks and a little bit of typing. All the script does is bridge the gap between this ideal world and reality.

This isn't an ideal world, the AH is what it is, the script can certainly help you navigate the client as-is, just don't have it continue to run without requiring human input and I think you'll be fine.


This would be so cumbersome as to nearly completely defeat the purpose.

No, it wouldn't. Right now you get to the sell window in client, and you have to click on multiple fields and input multiple amounts of text before posting your auction, all of that could be covered in one burst of your script with one click. Once it goes to the next window you just need to click again to issue the next part of your script. All of this could be bound to one key that you push over and over as each window loads. Sure you might think it's a little tedious, that's the nature of the AH we have, but you'll still be able to go through all these steps quite a bit quicker than if you were entering everything and moving your mouse around manually. In that respect it definitely doesn't defeat the purpose.


And this is the sort of stuff that I think folks might actually a reasonable issue with. In my mind, the point at which automation becomes unacceptable is the point at which it starts making decisions instead of a human.

You are filling out the spreadsheet with your data, and you are still sitting there clicking through each window, I would have no problem with this and the computer isn't making decisions for me.

Keep in mind I want this kind of script to be "kosher", I fully support this type of thing, I'm just giving you my opinion of where the line needs to be drawn as far as automation goes. I feel that line centers completely around whether the script requires active human input to run to completion or not.

Blare731
04-21-2015, 04:08 PM
Honestly, this thread is pretty much saying, "Allow me to batch list things in game, or allow me to script it so I can."

While the former can definitely be implemented, if they allowed the later they would be opening the flood gates to what you can and cannot automate. I think that is the biggest concern. Instead of CZE having to specify where and when you can automate and where you cannot, I think it's in their best interest not to allow any sort of automation. Instead they can just implement the features where the areas scripting is okay and no one would complain.

In closing, don't ask for scripting, ask for the feature. In this case, it is batch listing, and/or listing multiples of cards/equipment/packs/etc. A feature CZE can control, giving anyone and everyone the ability to control Hex systems through scripting is dangerous for CZE and they should be wary.

Thoom
04-21-2015, 05:09 PM
Once it goes to the next window you just need to click again to issue the next part of your script. All of this could be bound to one key that you push over and over as each window loads.

Do you know a simple way to accomplish this?


In closing, don't ask for scripting, ask for the feature. In this case, it is batch listing, and/or listing multiples of cards/equipment/packs/etc. A feature CZE can control, giving anyone and everyone the ability to control Hex systems through scripting is dangerous for CZE and they should be wary.

Many people have asked for the feature. I'm asking for scripting as a stopgap for the indefinite (but likely many month) period between today and whenever they can fit in the batch listing feature on their busy development schedule.

zadies
04-21-2015, 05:13 PM
Thoom you either don't want to acknoldege the door this will open or you want the door opened for other reasons.

As stated previously are a number of people that already can manipulate the ah... giving them even more powerful tools to do this is a joke. Thinking that the more useful for sniping scripts would be given out freely when they won't even explain how they snipe in the first place is just being blind.

Gwaer
04-21-2015, 05:22 PM
It's very possible those people are already using tools like these. And this just evens the playing field.

Banquetto
04-21-2015, 05:23 PM
I think the big distinction is between using a tool to automate the execution of your instructions, and using a tool to make decisions.

I think it's awesome if someone can run one script to list ten copies of a card for the same price and avoid dozens of tedious mouseclicks.

But a bot that monitored auction prices and automatically undercut or automatically bought cards listed below a threshold - that would be unacceptable, imho.

Blare731
04-21-2015, 05:23 PM
Many people have asked for the feature. I'm asking for scripting as a stopgap for the indefinite (but likely many month) period between today and whenever they can fit in the batch listing feature on their busy development schedule.

I understand what you are trying to say and that you are just tired of waiting for features to come out when it really is pretty simple to do yourself. I think it is a great idea, and I think that it should be in the game. There is no reason to make me sit at my computer for 20 minutes trying to post 30 of the same card, when it can easily be done with a click or simply inputting into a field of how many I wanted to post at once. That I most whole heartily agree. The issue is that, it doesn't make sense to allow scripting of any kind. Allowing people to script, in any way, will ultimately set a precedent that CZE would have to constantly monitor. Instead it is much more safe and reasonable to not allow scripting of any kind that interacts with the game. That's all I was trying to say, so we just have to be a little patient =].

zadies
04-21-2015, 05:33 PM
It's very possible those people are already using tools like these. And this just evens the playing field.

Not likely I know how they are doing it but was asked by a noble not to explain it, and to be honest even if I did explain it given how many people don't trust me and dislike me on the forums I don't really feel the need to anyway... it's more trouble then it's worth even if I am unemployed.

Given how datadragon tracks the ah risking a ban on a 2k+ account really isn't worth the risk of a ban... especially after accounts that were banned exploiting the concubunny thing.

Much like I was asked not to talk about the fun fun issue in the arena that I did bother to explain to xen at one point that really people don't need to know about.

With what I know with how the interface works, if you think sniping is an issue now allowing for scripts will just make the ah unusable completely except for the buy it now option and just push prices up.

Yoss
04-21-2015, 05:53 PM
Is it okay for me to have my little brother, or anyone else, sit at my computer and list all my booster packs on the AH for me?

If the above is okay, why is it suddenly not okay to have a script do the same thing?

Because human effort is not equal in cost to machine effort. The economy of this game depends on the link between human effort and the gaining of in-game commodities.

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:01 PM
Because human effort is not equal in cost to machine effort. The economy of this game depends on the link between human effort and the gaining of in-game commodities.

This is not what I am talking about. There is an obvious difference between human and machine effort in gaining something like gold.

What is the difference between human and machine effort for listing things on the AH? The economy does not depend on whether I list 1, 10, or 100 of an item by human effort or by machine.

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:04 PM
Putting things up for sale on the ah is attempting to gain an in game commodity... what do you think people are using to buy your product.

You are thinking that the scripts will just be used to list things... which is heavily naive they will be used to rip all the deals off the ah and bid snipe the hell out of it.

Also the first time there was a major outcry of bots on the ah datadragon went through and basically said no no bots, I can see who is searching the ah when they are searching the ah and how often they are searching the ah, and what they are searching for on the ah... It might be possible to get a script to be undetectable once or twice... continued use is likely to throw up red flags... just saying..

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:15 PM
Putting things up for sale on the ah is attempting to gain an in game commodity... what do you think people are using to buy your product.

You are thinking that the scripts will just be used to list things... which is heavily naive they will be used to rip all the deals off the ah and bid snipe the hell out of it.

I'm not the naive one.

What you fear is not possible with the style of scripting in the OP.

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:16 PM
Hacky... if you don't know how to bid snipe with the current ah... then you don't know how easily it could be done in a previous post much earlier I did lay out some of the basic things that would need to be done to do this and thoom was like yeah I can see that working but it doesn't interest me.

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:19 PM
Hacky... if you don't know how to bid snipe with the current ah... then you don't know how easily it could be done.

Identify an item you want. Check the AH every 5 seconds for that item. Find the exact time when that item changes 'time left' states. Associate that change with the time that auction will end. Check the item when that time nears. Bid +1.

That's the "easy" part.

So, how do you suppose one would automate this?

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:19 PM
loop it 100,000 times on an account that doesn't do anything else.

Also I'm talking about someone that isn't trying to snipe a single item but pages and pages and pages of all items under a set price.

Also hacky... that works... but it is much much more trouble then it is worth that isn't the easy way to snipe the ah... your thinking on a micro scale of a single item... I'm talking about how to just snipe anything cheap off the ah to repost it later... which you don't have to do anywhere near that much work to do... at first I actually thought you had listed the easy way... but yeah.... that's the actual hard way to snipe crap.

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:21 PM
loop it 100,000 times on an account that doesn't do anything else.

Loop what?

Just because I can explain what a bot would do, doesn't mean it is trivially easy.

I ask again, how would you go about automating it?

Zophie
04-21-2015, 06:22 PM
Identify an item you want. Check the AH every 5 seconds for that item. Find the exact time when that item changes 'time left' states. Associate that change with the time that auction will end. Check the item when that time nears. Bid +1.

That's the "easy" part.

So, how do you suppose one would automate this?

Not with AHK, that's for sure :)

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:29 PM
Hacky given you don't know what to loop means you don't really know how to snipe on a macro scale which is entirely possible atm.

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:32 PM
Hacky given you don't know what to loop means you don't really know how to snipe on a macro scale which is entirely possible atm.

And I think you are incapable of proving this.

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:36 PM
Incapable of proving that I can macro snipe or incapable of proving you don't know...

If you do know you also know it's completely possible to script it, and just want the option.

I don't really need to prove I know how to do it... I'm sure there are people on the forums that know other people can do it... so if I can or can't do it personally really isn't the issue... even if I typed out how to do it no one would believe me my credibility is so low on the forums.

Why don't you play a logic game where you take these two things as fact and see how you think about scripting:
1) macro sniping is possible
2) macro sniping is script-able with the tools laid out in the original script.

It really doesn't matter if I know how to do it or not, but operate under those two assumptions for a few mins and think about what would happen to the economy if scripting were allowed.

hacky
04-21-2015, 06:47 PM
I don't really need to prove I know how to do it... I'm sure there are people on the forums that know other people can do it... so if I can or can't do it personally really isn't the issue... even if I typed out how to do it no one would believe me my credibility is so low on the forums.

No one cares about your credibility.

Anyone can say anything they want. If you had anything of value to add to this thread, you would have done so already.

zadies
04-21-2015, 06:54 PM
Hacky your response to my post just proved the point about my credibility... and also you chose to attack that instead of the actual logic puzzle just reinforces the point of the exercise.

NOBLEStarshield
04-21-2015, 07:01 PM
Locking thread.